I've been delinquent doing a 'Books Received' post so this is a rather overweight post. These are some of the non UF/PNR books I received in February running the gamut of science fiction and fantasy, young adult, thrillers and non-fiction. Thanks go out to the generous folks at H.B Fenn, PyrSF, Penguin Canada and many others.
Some are on my radar for review and some unfortunately time does not permit. I've made the odd note here and there for those that are interested.
Numbers by Rachel WardFebruary from Scholastic
The premise of this one has me intrigued. I have a giveaway starting tomorrow and it is on my list for books I plan to review.
Ever since she was child, Jem has kept a secret: Whenever she meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die. Burdened with such awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. The two plan a trip to the city. But while waiting to ride the Eye ferris wheel, Jem is terrified to see that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today's number. Today's date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem's world is about to explode!
Petrodor by Joel Shepherd
March from Prometheus Books
Just the kind of fantasy I like to read when time permits.
Book two in the quartet A Trial of Blood & Steel picks up the story of the brave and independent heroine, Sasha, now living in the port city of Petrodor. Away from the hills of her Lenayin homeland, Sasha is making a new life in the dark alleys and wealthy houses of Petrodor. An influential trading centre, Petrodor holds the key to preventing the coming war between Lenayin and the mighty Bacosh. Together with her old mentor Kessligh, Sasha attempts to navigate the political intrigues of the port city and find a way to stop the war. It is the serrin, the beautiful but dangerous people from beyond the Bacosh, who will be the pivotal point in this struggle. How much can Sasha trust her old serrin friend Errollyn? And how much can she trust herself?
Gardens of the Sun by Paul McAuleyMarch from Prometheus Books
I've heard nothing but good things about this series. Gorgeous cvover art too!
The Sequel to the landmark SF The Quiet War.
The Quiet War is over. The city states of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, founded by descendants of refugees from Earth's repressive regimes, the Outers, have fallen to the Three Powers Alliance of Greater Brazil, the European Union, and the Pacific Community. A century of enlightenment, rational utopianism and exploration of new ways of being human has fallen dark. Outers are herded into prison camps and forced to collaborate in the systematic plundering of their great archives of scientific and technical knowledge, while Earth's forces loot their cities and settlements and ships, and plan a final solution to the'Outer problem.'
But Earth's victory is fragile, and riven by vicious internal politics. While seeking out and trying to anatomise the strange gardens abandoned in place by the Outers' greatest genius, Avernus, the gene wizard Sri Hong-Owen is embroiled in the plots and counterplots of the family that employs her. The diplomat Loc Ifrahim soon discovers that profiting from victory isn't as easy as he thought. And on Earth, in Greater Brazil, the democratic traditions preserved and elaborated by the Outers have infected a population eager to escape the tyranny of the great families who rule them.
Meanwhile, in the outer reaches of the Solar System, a rag-taggle group of refugees struggle to preserve the last of the old ideals. And on Triton, fanatical members of a cabal prepare for a final battle that threatens to shatter the future of the human species.
After a conflict fought to contain the expansionist, posthuman ambitions of the Outers, the future is as uncertain as ever. Only one thing is clear.No one can escape the consequences of war — especially the victors.
Secret of the Dragon by Margaret Weis & Tracy HickmanMarch 16 from Tor Books
This is the 2nd book in the Dragonships of Vindras series following Bones of the Dragon (2008).
New gods are challenging the old high god, Torval, for rulership of the world. The only way to stop these brash interlopers lies with the five Bones of the Vektia Dragons—the five primal dragons hidden away by the dragon goddess, Vindrash, during the creation of the world. Without these dragons, one of the new gods, Aelon, cannot seize power. The only hope of the Vindrasi lies in finding the dragon bones before the followers of Aelon can use them to destroy the old gods. But the Vindrasi gods have a traitor in their midst…
In the land of mortals, Raegar, a Vindraisi turned Aelon warrior-priest, searches for the spirit bones. The gods have a champion of their own—Skylan Ivorson, sea-raider and high chief of the Vindrasi clans, and sworn enemy to Raegar. But Skylan is a prisoner on his own ship. The ship’s dragon, Kahg, has vanished and some believe he is dead. Skylan and his people are taken as captives to Sinaria, where they must fight in a game known as the Para Dix. The fates of men and gods and are dragons are rushing headlong to destruction. Skylan can stop the calamity, but only if he discovers the secret of the dragon.
The Alchemy of Murder by Carol McClearyMarch 16 from Tor/Forge Books
Doesn't this sound like a lot fun?
The world’s most famous reporter, the intrepid Nellie Bly, teams up with science fiction genius Jules Verne, the notorious wit and outrageous rogue Oscar Wilde, and the greatest microbe-hunter in history, Louis Pasteur. Together, they must solve the crime of the century.
They are all in Paris—the capital of Europe and center of world culture—for the 1889 World’s Fair. A spectacular extravaganza dedicated to new industries, scientific discoveries, and global exploration, its gateway is the soaring Eiffel Tower. But an enigmatic killer stalks the streets and a virulent plague is striking down Parisians by the thousands. Convinced that the killings are connected to the pandemic, Nellie is determined to stop them both... no matter what the risks.
The Long Man by Steve EngelhartMarch 16 from Tor Books
Unfamiliar with the author I discovered that STEVE ENGLEHART is known to millions of comics readers as the author of such comics as Captain America, The Justice League of America, and Batman: the Dark Detective. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.
In The Point Man, DJ Max August was thrust into a hidden war between the forces of chaos and order, where he learned how to use magick and become Timeless!
More than twenty-five years later, Max is summoned by a friend to save Dr. Pamela Blackwell from a mysterious force that is using magick to kill her. Pam’s research could save the lives of countless millions, putting her in the crosshairs of the FRC, a cabal of powerbrokers intent on world domination.
From San Francisco to Barbados to the shores of Suriname, Max and Pam must fight off magick-wielding assassins and legions of zombies. Max may be powerful and Timeless, but he’s not indestructible. He’s going to have to keep his wits about him if he’s going to stop the FRC before they kill millions.
Supernatural enemies, dazzling magic, and romance abound in this page-turner from a longtime master of storytelling.
Arms-Commander by L.E. ModesittJanuary from Tor Books
The sixteenth entry in his Saga of Recluce series.
Arms-Commander takes place ten years after the end of The Chaos Balance and tells the story of the legendary Saryn. The keep of Westwind, in the cold mountainous heights called the Roof of the World, is facing attack by the adjoining land of Gallos. Arthanos, son and heir to the ailing Prefect of Gallos, wishes to destroy Westwind because the idea of a land where women rule is total anathema to him.
Saryn, Arms-Commander of Westwind, is dispatched to a neighboring land, Lornth, to seek support against the Gallosians. In the background, the trading council of Suthya is secretly and informally allied with Gallos against Westwind and begins to bribe lord-holders in Lornth to foment rebellion and civil war. They hope to create such turmoil in Lornth that the weakened land will fall to Suthya. But Zeldyan, regent of Lornth, has problems in her family. To secure Zeldyan’s aid, Saryn must pledge her personal support—and any Westwind guard forces she can raise—to the defense of Zeldyan and her son. The fate of four lands, including Westwind, rests on Saryn’s actions.
Coming of the Storm by W. Micahel Gear & Kathleen O'Neal GearFebruary from Tor Books
This one is definitely ging into my TBR stack. I love a good preiod fantasy.
From New York Times bestselling novelists W. Michael and Kathleen O'Neal Gear comes a landmark new series portraying the devastating clash of cultures that followed the European invasion of early America. Dramatic, authentic, and deeply moving, this first book in the Contact series tells the story of the blood-drenched years that followed Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto's landing in "La Florida" in 1539 — as seen entirely through the eyes of two courageous Native Americans.
Black Shell, an exiled Chickasaw trader, is fascinated by the pale, bearded newcomers who call themselves "Kristianos," and not even the wise counsel of Pearl Hand, the extraordinary and beautiful woman who has consented to be his mate, can dissuade him. It will unfortunately take a first-hand lesson in the Kristianos' unfathomable brutality for Black Shell to fully comprehend the dangers that these invaders pose to his people's way of life.
While his first instinct is to run away with Pearl Hand, somewhere the Kristianos cannot find them, Black Shell has been called to a greater destiny by the Spirit Being known as Horned Serpent. With Pearl Hand by his side, Black Shell must find a way to unite the disparate tribes and settlements of his native land and overcome the merciless armies of de Soto, which will stop at nothing to attain wealth and power.
For years readers have urged the Gears to bring the clash of Native American and European cultures to life as only they can. Now, with Coming of the Storm, the Gears unleash their expansive breadth of knowledge and stunning writing talents to dispel the myths and falsehoods surrounding Hernando de Soto, as they paint avivid portrait of the heroic men and women who fought a terrifying, militarily superior power for their survival — and in so doing defined the character of a nation.
City of Night by Michelle WestFebruary from Penguin Books
This is the second book in the series after The Hidden City (2008) set in the same universe as The Sacred Hunt and The Sun Sword. Chronicles the story of Jewel and House Terafin. From the author of the wonderful Chronicles of Elantra series ("Cast in" series) written as Michelle Sagara.
Demonic activity has escalated in both the Undercity and the mortal surface level city as the worshipers and servants of the Lord of the Hells strive to complete the rituals that will return their god to the mortal realm. As Rath joins with mages and the Twin Kings' agents to wage a secret battle against this nearly unstoppable foe, he gives Jewel Markess and her den of orphans the opportunity to escape the chaos by providing them with a note of introduction to the head of House Terafin, where Jewel will discover her destiny.
Greek: Double Date by Marsha WarnerMay from Harlequin Teen
Haven't seen the TV sereis, but Harlequin Teen certainly has the pulse on YA fiction.
Two dates—some night!
Major oops. When Casey Cartwright's brother begs her to be nerdy Dole Kettlewell's date to the sure-to-be-boring Honors Engineering Awards, Casey says yes. Even though Dole is totally not her type... and might have a crush on her. Ugh. But it's a nice thing to do, and Casey's a ways been the "nice" girl.
But now, that night conflicts with the biggest event of the semester, the All-Greek formal. Casey already has a date lined up: hot transfer student Rob Howell. He's her plan to get over her sexy-slacker ex, Cappie. And even nice girls get to be bad sometimes, right?
What to do? With a little help from BFF Ashleigh, unwonted advice from frenemy Rebecca Logan and even a push from Cappie, what Casey does may surprise even herself....
Brightly Woven by Alexandra BrackenMarch 23 from EgmontUSA
This one is on my review radar. Beautiful cover.
When Wayland North brings rain to a region that's been dry for over ten years, he's promised anything he'd like as a reward. He chooses the village elder's daughter, sixteen-year-old Sydelle Mirabel, who is a skilled weaver and has an unusual knack for repairing his magical cloaks. Though Sydelle has dreamt of escaping her home, she's hurt that her parents relinquish her so freely and finds herself awed and afraid of the slightly ragtag wizard who is unlike any of the men of magic in the tales she's heard. Still, she is drawn to this mysterious man who is fiercely protective of her and so reluctant to share his own past.
The pair rushes toward the capital, intent to stop an imminent war, pursued by Reuel Dorwan (a dark wizard who has taken a keen interest in Sydelle) and plagued by unusually wild weather. But the sudden earthquakes and freak snowstorms may not be a coincidence. As Sydelle discovers North's dark secret and the reason for his interest in her and learns to master her own mysterious power, it becomes increasingly clear that the fate of the kingdom rests in her fingertips. She will either be a savior, weaving together the frayed bonds between Saldorra and Auster, or the disastrous force that destroys both kingdoms forever.
Ghosts of Manhattan by George MannApril 27 from Prometheus Books
Definitely on my review hit list.
INTRODUCING THE WORLD'S FIRST STEAMPUNK SUPERHERO
1926. New York. The Roaring Twenties. Jazz. Flappers. Prohibition. Coal-powered cars. A cold war with a British Empire that still covers half of the globe. Yet things have developed differently to established history. America is in the midst of a cold war with a British Empire that has only just buried Queen Victoria, her life artificially preserved to the age of 107. Coal-powered cars roar along roads thick with pedestrians, biplanes take off from standing with primitive rocket boosters and monsters lurk behind closed doors and around every corner. This is a time in need of heroes. It is a time for The Ghost. A series of targeted murders are occurring all over the city, the victims found with ancient Roman coins placed on their eyelids after death. The trail appears to lead to a group of Italian-American gangsters and their boss, who the mobsters have dubbed 'The Roman'. However, as The Ghost soon discovers, there is more to The Roman than at first appears, and more bizarre happenings that he soon links to the man, including moss-golems posing as mobsters and a plot to bring an ancient pagan god into the physical world in a cavern beneath the city. As The Ghost draws nearer to The Roman and the center of his dangerous web, he must battle with foes both physical and supernatural and call on help from the most unexpected of quarters if he is to stop The Roman and halt the imminent destruction of the city.
Brains: A Zombie Memoir by Robin BeckerMay 25 from EOS
On my review radr. Zombies and romance? A no-brainer. LOL
After the zombie apocalypse, can zombies and humans live together in peace and harmony? College professor-cum-zombie Jack Barnes is determined to try in this wonderfully stylish and humorous debut novel.
Contrary to popular belief, not all zombies are created alike. Some of us like to have our brains and eat them too (not our own, of course!). My name is Jack Barnes, and, yes, I am a zombie. But I am NOT one of those garden-variety vacant-eyed undead idiots. After the zombie outbreak, by some miracle, I have retained my sentience. (Sorry for the big word; in my former incarnation, I was a professor of Contemporary American Literature.) I can even write. And I have a Dream-1 want to bring peace between zombies and humans.
But I need the help of our creator, Howard Stein, the man responsible for the zombie virus. I've set off on a grueling cross-country journey to plead my case. Along the way I've met more like me, rotting brain-eaters who still possess some sort of cognitive ability. We've banded into a small army who will stop at nothing—well, maybe a few quick cerebrum snacks—to reach our maker.
Let me introduce my wonderfully lively (pun intended!) crew. Meet Guts, an agile, dread-locked boy who can run like the wind. Joan, a matronly nurse adept at reattaching appendages and securing spilled innards. Annie, a young girl with a fierce quick-draw. And Kos, who can actually speak coherent sentences. Together we are making our way through an eerie new world of roving zombie hunters, empty McMansions, and clogged highways on a quest to attain what all men, women—and, yes, zombies—yearn for: equality.
Please, sit back while I tell you my story—a gore-splattered, blood-soaked, sometimes humorous, and surprisingly touching tale that will make you a believer. Are you ready?
Your Hate Mail Will be Graded by John ScalziJanuary from Tor Books
Award winning SF writer John Scalzi is veteran blogger. Currently rated the #1 book blog by Technorati John always has something interesting to say. I'm a subscriber but this book goes back 10 years in a "best of" fashion. Should make for some very interesting reading.
On September 13, 1998, John Scalzi sat down in front of his computer to write the first entry in his blog "Whatever"—and changed the history of the Internet as we know it today.
What, you're not swallowing that one? Okay, fine: He started writing the "Whatever" and amused about 15 people that first day. If that many. But he kept at it, for ten years and running. Now 40,000 people drop by on a daily basis to see what he's got to say.
About what? Well, about whatever: Politics, writing, family, war, popular culture and cats (especially with bacon on them). Sometimes he's funny. Sometimes he's serious (mostly he's sarcastic). Sometimes people agree with him. Sometimes they send him hate mail, which he grades on originality and sends back. Along the way, Scalzi's become a best-selling, award-winning author, a father, and a geek celebrity. But no matter what, there's always another Whatever to amuse and/or enrage his readers.
Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded collects some of the best and most popular Whatever entries over the history of the blog, from some of the very first entries right up into 2008. It's a decade of Whatever, presented in delightfully random form—just the way it should be.
A wonderfully produced novella by a one of SFF's top talents. On my review list.
Rabid Transit Press is pleased to announce the publication of Under in the Mere, a novella by Catherynne M. Valente, in the December of 2009.
What damosel is this? What damosel is this?
Perhaps I am nothing but a white arm. Perhaps the body which is me diffuses at the water’s surface into nothing but light, light and wetness and blue. Maybe I am nothing but samite, pregnant with silver, and out of those sleeves come endless swords, dropping like lakelight from my hems. Will you come down to me and discover if my body continues below the rippling?
I thought not.
So begins the second release from the Electrum Novella Series, Under in the Mere, which takes Arthurian legend to the furthest limits of the imagination. Incantatory, labrynthine, and both playful and heartbreaking, Under in the Mere is a major new work from one of America's premier writers of fantasy.
With full interior illustrations from renowned fantasy artist James Owen and Jeremy Owen. Actually, Rabid Transit Press could put a piece of clip art here to somehow represent the artistic wonders that will reside in this book, but it would do the illustrations no justice. So, trust us, it will be amazing.
Halo Evolutions (Anthology)November 23, 2009 from Tor Books
Haven't played the game but there is some top-notch talent here. I am a fan iof Karen Traviss' work so that story for sure is on my radar.
When humanity expanded beyond the safety of Earth to new stars and horizons, they never dreamed what dangers they would encounter there. When the alien juggernaut known as the Covenant declared holy war upon the fragile human empire, millions of lives were lost—but, millions of heroes rose to the challenge. In such a far-reaching conflict, not many of the stories of these heroes, both human and alien, have a chance to become legend. This collection holds eleven stories that dive into the depths of the vast Halo universe, not only from the perspective of those who fought and died to save humanity, but also those who vowed to wipe humanity out of existence.
Included in this collection are all-new, never-before-told stories by Tobias S. Buckell, B.K. Evenson, Jonathan Goff, Kevin Grace, Tessa Kum and Jeff Vandermeer, Robt McLees, Eric Nylund, Frank O'Connor, Eric Raab, Karen Traviss and Fred Van Lente.
Muse and Reverie by Charles de LintDecember 2009 from Tor Books
A de Lint collection is always nice to see. John Jude Palencar won this year’s Society of Illustrators’ Hamilton King Award for his cover on Muse and Reverie.
Muse and Reverie is an all-new collection of short fiction in Charles de Lint’s “Newford” universe—the fifth such collection since 1993, and the first since 2002. Previous collections are Dreams Underfoot, The Ivory and the Horn, the World Fantasy Award-winning Memory and Dream, and Tapping the Dream Tree.
The city of Newford could be any city in North America, bursting with music, commerce, art, love and hate, and of course magic. Magic in the sidewalk cracks, myth at the foundations of its great buildings, enchantment in the spaces between its people. In this new collection, de Lint explores that magic and those spaces, shedding new light on the people and places that readers of novels like Moonheart, Forests of the Heart, The Onion Girl, and The Mystery of Grace have come to love.
The Lock Artist by Steve HamiltonJanuary from St. Martin's Press
A great premise. Added to the TBR stack.
Marked by tragedy, traumatized at the age of eight, Michael, now eighteen, is no ordinary young man. Besides not uttering a single word in ten years, he discovers the one thing he can somehow do better than anyone else. Whether it’s a locked door without a key, a padlock with no combination, or even an eight hundred-pound safe...he can open them all.
It’s an unforgivable talent. A talent that will make young Michael a hot commodity with the wrong people and, whether he likes it or not, push him ever closer to a life of crime. Until he finally sees his chance to escape, and with one desperate gamble risks everything to come back home to the only person he ever loved, and to unlock the secret that has kept him silent for so long.
Steve Hamilton steps away from his Edgar Award-winning Alex McKnight series to introduce a unique new character, unlike anyone you’ve ever seen in the world of crime fiction.
Prince of Storms by Kay KenyonJanuary from Prometheus Books
The final book in the series. I have the others on my shelf but unread. I will now have the joy of being able to read the entire series front to back with no wait. *grin*
Finally in control of the Ascendancy, Titus Quinn has styled himself Regent of the Entire. But his command is fragile. He rules an empire with a technology beyond human understanding; spies lurk in the ancient Magisterium; the Tarig overlords are hamstrung but still malevolent. Worse, his daughter Sen Ni opposes him for control, believing the Earth and its Rose universe must die to sustain the failing Entire. She is aided by one of the mystical pilots of the River Nigh, the space-time transport system. This navitar, alone among all others, can alter future events. He retires into a crystal chamber in the Nigh to weave reality and pit his enemies against each other.
Taking advantage of these chaotic times, the great foe of the Long War, the Jinda ceb Horat, create a settlement in the Entire. Masters of supreme technology, they maintain a lofty distance from the Entire's struggle. They agree, however, that the Tarig must return to the fiery Heart of their origins. With the banishment immanent, some Tarig lords rebel, fleeing to hound the edges of Quinn's reign.
Meanwhile, Quinn's wife Anzi becomes a hostage and penitent among the Jinda ceb, undergoing alterations that expose their secrets, but may estrange her from her husband. As Quinn moves toward a confrontation with the dark navitar, he learns that the stakes of the conflict go far beyond the Rose versus the Entire—extending to a breathtaking dominance. The navitar commands forces that lie at the heart of theEntire's geo-cosmology, and will use them to alter the calculus of power. As the navitar's plan approaches consummation, Quinn, Sen Ni, and Anzi are swept up in forces that will leave them forever changed.
In this rousing finale to Kenyon's celebrated quartet, Titus Quinn meets an inevitable destiny, forced at last to make the unthinkable choice for or against the dictates of his heart, for or against the beloved land.
Shadowrise by Tad WilliamsMarch from Penguin Books/DAW
The third part of the Shadowmarch quartet following Shadowmarch (2004) and Shadowplay (2007). Stay tuned for a great giveaway starting on Tuesday!
Southmarch Castle is about to be caught between two implacable enemies, the ancient, immortal Qar and the insane god-king, the Autarch of Xis. Meanwhile, its two young defenders, the king’s children Princess Briony and Prince Barrick, are both trapped far away from home and fighting for their lives.
Barrick is lost behind the Shadowline, facing all the terrible dangers and mysteries of that magical twilight land. Briony is alone in a treacherous foreign court, struggling to survive with no weapon left to her but her wits. And in the midst of all this, something unbelievable is awakening underneath Southmarch, something powerful and terrible that the world has not seen for thousands of years.
In this third volume Barrick and Briony, along with Qinnitan – the Autarch’s desperate, escaped slave – a loyal soldier named Ferras Vansen, and a tiny handful of other folk, ordinary and extraordinary, must find a way to save their world, or else witness the rise of a terrible new age – an age of unending darkness.